Several areas in Russia’s far east are struggling with severe flooding, with many villages along the Amur River near the city of Blagoveshchensk on the border with China particularly affected.
Hundreds of people have already been brought to safety, authorities said on Saturday.
Videos showed rescue workers driving through flooded streets in rubber boats and saving dogs, cats and calves from drowning.
Several villages were without electricity.
The authorities expect the water levels to continue rising. Hundreds of volunteers were reportedly filling sandbags and stacked them along the banks of the Amur. More emergency shelters are also being set up in schools, kindergartens and other public buildings. Meals have also been organized for the rescued people.
The situation is tense, according to the Civil Defence. “Not all residents have agreed to evacuate,” a spokesperson said on Saturday. “Last night we had to rescue three residents from a flooded house.”
Floods are a regular occurrence in the region. The last time they were particularly severe was in 2013.